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Arab Coalition Airstrikes Destroy Insurgency Arms Warehouses in Hodeida, Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Boats are pictured at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen February 5, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

Taiz- Saudi-led Arab Coalition air forces reported intensifying airstrikes over the last 24 hours, in an effort to back Yemeni pro-government army units in their offensive against militia posts in Yemen’s fourth-largest city, Hodeida.

Air raids targeted militia bastions in Khoukha, Ad Durayhimi, Al Wazi’iyah and Mawza districts.

Insurgency militias suffered great losses in personnel and artillery. It is worth noting that coalition air power took down arms warehouses and convoys.

Khoukha and the nearby city of Hodeidah are controlled by Iran-allied Houthi fighters who in 2014 overran Yemen’s capital Sanaa and forced the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi out.

Coalition airstrikes took place as pro-government forces, composed of tribesman making up the popular resistance and national army units, made incremental advances near the western coastal area in al Mawza district.

Pro-government forces moved towards Khalid Bin Al Waleed military camp, which is currently controlled by putschists. Yemeni government forces backed by Arab troops recaptured control of the southern Red Sea city of Mokha last month in a push that paved the way for an advance on Hodeidah, the country’s main port city.

Yemen government forces backed by heavy air strikes from Saudi-led coalition fighter jets launched in January a massive military operation to drive out Iran-allied Houthi militants and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh from the western coast to cut off supplies of arms to rebels from Iran. The last city to be liberated in Operation Golden Arrow is Hodeida.

Battles erupted in the western coastal area now witnesses increasing advances on behalf of government forces, with military officials confirming a nearing direct offensive to retake Hodeida port, city and governorate comprehensively.

“Government forces emphasize the importance of the western coastal area and Hodeida due to the great strategic, political and economic value they hold,” political analyst Bassim al Hakimi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“Military missions are being staged under Arab coalition and Yemeni government cooperation, and are being managed from a common operating room,” Hakimi said when addressing the military operational function in Yemen today.

As for military strategy Hakimi said that multi-front advances are being sustained to clampdown on militia pockets spread in the governorate.

Ongoing battles and advances registered on behalf of pro-government forces present a critical advantage against coup militias. Progress recorded by pro-government forces will not be cut short to military pressure against Houthis but to also set a foot down against Houthis’ evasiveness and long-time exploitation of negotiations.

Several rounds of peace talks have ended in failure due to Houthis not committing to realizing a settlement as they eye full control and overthrowing the internationally recognized government of President Hadi.